Tiger tennis got its spring season underway on Thursday afternoon, as a number of players started fast with impressive wins over Keene foes.
Glen Rose and Keene played eight-game pro sets in most of the early matches before switching over to a single six-game set later in the evening.
“Overall, I thought this (match) was very good for us,” said coach Greg Garrison. “Keene wasn’t as tough as I was hoping they were going to be, but it was our first outing against an opponent other than ourselves and it was good for our kids to compete against somebody else. It was very important they got this opportunity before our home tournament, simply because it gets more competitive against someone else.”
It was very windy during the early matches.
“It was a windier day than normal, but fortunately after sunset it died down,” Garrison said. “Obviously on each side of the court the kids had to hit differently to adjust for the wind.”
In boys’ singles, Gray Dulcie won 8-0, Angel Guia won 8-1, Caleb Ukle won 6-3 and Daniel Pena lost 2-6.
“I thought Gray and Angel played really well against Keene’s top boys,” Garrison said. “Daniel wasn’t able to stay with his opponent, but he was against one of their top two boys and he’s not a bad singles player. Caleb got a good win and picked up his game from earlier in the week. He’s always had good groundstrokes; it’s just a matter of being consistent.”
In girls’ singles, Kelsie Fleetwood won 8-1, Shelby Lacey won 8-1 and Brynn Reynolds lost 2-6.
“I just put Fleetwood and Lacey in singles (Thursday) to fill out our lineup,” Garrison said. “Abby Cole and Grace Payne would’ve normally been in those spots, but they were at the track meet. It was good for Kelsie and Shelby to chase the ball around and be active to get them ready for doubles. I think it may have showed them their range is better than they thought.”
As for boys’ doubles, Carter Garrison and Blake Kramer won 8-2, Jayden Reynolds and Bailey Holder lost 5-7, while Caesar Martinez and Eddie Robles won 7-5.
“None of those pairings actually play together normally,” Garrison said. “Carter and Blake have a chance to play on varsity. I was pleased to see how convincingly they won. Caesar and Eddie will probably be on JV this season, but it was good for them to get this experience.
“It was good to see Holder and Reynolds play pretty well, considering it’s the first year to play for both of them. I think they learned more about the game and what specifically they need to work on.”
In girls’ doubles, Fleetwood and Lacey won 6-2, while Marissa Graves and Madison Morrow won 6-3.
“Marissa just came out with us (Thursday) for the first time, so it was a pleasant surprise to see her and Madison do so well,” Garrison said. “I will probably have Marissa play mixed doubles for us in the future.
“Fleetwood and Lacey are two girls that are solid, but we have to keep them hungry and aggressive so we can try to get them to Lubbock for the regional tennis tournament. It won’t be easy because Alvarado has good girls returning.”
Looking to mixed doubles, Max Albro and Kayla Goebel won 8-1, Robles and Chelsea Smith lost 1-6, Garrison and Brittan Grace won 6-4, and Ukle and Graves won 6-4.
“Kayla and Max did really well,” the coach said. “It’s good to see Kayla come out after basketball and help us fill out our mixed doubles teams. Caleb and Marissa played together for the first time and got a win. Carter and Brittan also played together for the first time and did a really good job.”
Tiger tennis can now look ahead to the Glen Rose Invitational Tournament on March 2.
“All the kids who played Thursday need to understand what they had trouble with so we can work on it next week in practice,” Garrison said. “The ones who didn’t play this week really need to focus during the upcoming practice week.”